Elective Clerkships

We are pleased to offer several excellent clerkship opportunities for medical students interested in clinical exposure to the field of ophthalmology including the medical and surgical management of eye diseases. We hope to provide ophthalmology clerkship experiences that are equally enriching for medical students interested in primary care specialties as for those pursuing a career in ophthalmology.

Our two- and four-week clerkships are offered primarily at the University of Washington’s primary teaching institutions in Seattle. Additional clerkship experiences are offered throughout the WWAMI region. Students interested in pursuing a career in ophthalmology are strongly encouraged to enroll in a clerkship at the University of Washington Eye Institute at Harborview Medical Center (OPHTH 681) or the Seattle Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Medical Center (OPHTH 685). We also have a student-run Ophthalmology Interest Group to provide information and community service activities for students interested in the field of ophthalmology.  For more information on the Ophthalmology Interest Group, please visit the website at http://www.students.washington.edu/uwoig

Thank you for your interest in the University of Washington ophthalmology clerkship elective. If you have any additional questions, or if you need assistance with the clerkship registration process, please feel free to contact me through our Education Coordinator at ophthclerk@uw.edu.

We look forward to seeing you on our clerkship.

Sincerely,
Courtney Francis, M.D.

Director of Medical Education in Ophthalmology
Associate Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
University of Washington School of Medicine

Goals/Objectives

The Goals and Objectives of any course in the department of Ophthalmology is to enhance your knowledge of the eye disease in a variety of locations.  The policies and procedures that are supported by our department are the UW Clerkship Policies.

Goals

The following goals are not meant to limit the goals that you may want to focus on, but are intended to clearly outline what is expected of a UW Ophthalmology rotation.  Please review the goals below for some general information for our rotations:

  1. To assist students in developing confidence in specific examination techniques, which are commonly used by ophthalmologists to detect abnormalities of the eyes, optic nerve, lids, lacrimal apparatus, and visual pathways.
  2. To assist students in identifying, recalling, and categorizing information about seven clinical problem areas: visual acuity, ophthalmoscopy, glaucoma, red eye, injuries, amblyopia and strabismus, and neuro-ophthalmology.
  3. To assist students in describing and communicating ocular findings with other physicians and when to refer cataract and sight threatening symptoms (e.g., eye pain, vision loss, flashes, and floaters) to an ophthalmologist.
  4. To provide a first-time experience for students to work in an ophthalmology practice setting with adult and pediatric patients, and ophthalmic nurses and technicians. This setting provides a balance of outpatient, emergency room, inpatient, and operating room experiences and is directed toward the following:
    • the application of basic science and clinical knowledge to specific eye problems
    • gaining practical experience and insight into the communication skills, examination techniques, and treatments which are used in the practice of ophthalmology
    • deciding whether to become an ophthalmologist
  5. To introduce students to controversial areas of ophthalmology to stimulate reading and investigation into these topics.
  6. To allow students to observe common surgical techniques, such as cataract extraction with intraocular lens implantation. 

Objectives

There are several skill objectives, which are required for minimal performance in this course and these skill areas are described briefly below. At the end of the clerkship, the student should be able to:

  1. Read and interpret an ophthalmologic consultation which requires knowledge of specific terminology and abbreviations,
  2. Perform an appropriate and focused history and physical examination for a new ophthalmology patient,
  3. Develop a plan for the evaluation and management of his/her specific ocular problem(s),
  4. Perform the following procedures:
    • Recording of visual acuity at near and distance,
    • Examination of the extraocular muscles (including the cover test) and intraocular muscles (accommodation and pupillary reactions),
    • Hand light and slit lamp examinations of the external structures of the eye, lids, and lacrimal apparatus,
    • Examination of the cornea, anterior chamber, iris, lens, and anterior vitreous with a slit lamp,
    • Ophthalmoscopic examinations of the media (cornea, anterior chamber, lens, and vitreous) and fundus (optic disc, macula, and vessels),
    • Confrontation examination of the peripheral visual fields,
  5. Understand and discuss the initial management of eye emergencies.

Schedule Page

Scheduling is based on the location of the clerkship.  In general, each student will be exposed to a variety of patients and settings.  All students (non-WWAMI sites) will participate in the Department of Ophthalmology Grand Rounds, didactic lectures, conferences and case studies at UW Eye Institute on Thursday mornings.

Conferences

Grand Rounds: UW Department of Ophthalmology Grand Rounds are typically held on Thursday mornings in the Ninth and Jefferson Building of Harborview Medical Center.

Didactics:  All didactics are typically held on Thursday mornings from 7am to 12pm in the Ninth and Jefferson Building of Harborview Medical Center.  The lectures include information about the Basic Clinical and Science Courses of Ophthalmology, research, wet labs (HMC WISH), special presentations by WAEPS guest speakers, interdepartmental conferences, specialty conferences, and case studies. 

Case Studies & Case Presentations: Medical Students on any rotation in Seattle are required to attend Case Studies on the 1st Thursday of a rotation and Case Presentations on the 2nd Thursday of a rotation.

WAEPS Lecture: Special lectures are held once a month on Wednesday from 6:30pm-8:30pm on the Harborview Medical Center Campus.

Clinic

The UW Medicine Eye Institute, the UW Department of Ophthalmology main clinic, is located on the 7th floor of the Ninth and Jefferson Building at the Harborview Medical Center Campus. There is an additional clinic located in the 4West clinic in Harborview Medical Center.

OR

Surgeries are performed at the OR on the 7th floor of the Ninth and Jefferson Building as well as the OR in the basement of the Maleng Building.

Materials

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology, Basic Ophthalmology: Essentials for Medical Students, 10th Edition (Provided on first day to borrow for the duration of your rotation)

Evaluation

By student/by resident/by faculty (Evaluation of Student Performance in the Clinical Curriculum) in E*Value. Students will present a brief case presentation and discussion on the second Thursday morning. Students on a four-week rotation are eligible for an honors grade. Students seeking an honors grade are required to write two 4-page papers, one 8-page paper, or one EyeWiki submission with a resident or faculty adviser on a topic of their choosing to be submitted no later than one week following the end of a clerkship. Per UWSOM policy, there are no approved absences for 2 week rotations.

Transportation

There is a free UW Health Sciences Shuttle with service from UWMC, Roosevelt Clinic, and HMC sites.  Students at the Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) has a shuttle with service from SCCA, UWMC, and SCH sites.  Kaiser Permanente locations will need to arrange for their own transportation.

 Reporting mistreatment or a serious concern

Students who wish to report mistreatment or a serious concern that doesn't require immediate response are encouraged to use the Learning Environment Feedback Tool by clicking on this link. In this tool, you will be able to provide a description of your concern, indicate your folow-up preference and how you would like your feedback shared. You will have the option of reporting completely anonymously and indicating how you want your identity and the identity of anyone else involved in the situation to be shared.

UW Religious Accommodations Policy

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardshhip due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW's policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accomodation Policy. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request Form.

In order to plan accommodations that will avoid possible delays in course/clerkship end dates. UW SOM recommends students complete the Religious Accomodations Request Form in advance of the start date of their course or clerkship.

School of Medicine Grade Review, Challenge and Appeal Process

https://sites.uw.edu/medevalu/clrk_gradechallenge

Available Clerkships Page

Locations and Courses

Alaska

Montana

Idaho

Seattle

Northwest WA

Spokane

Eastern WA

WWAMI and Other

OPHTH 688

OPHTH 690, 692

OPHTH 691

OPHTH 681, 683, 685, 686, 695

OPHTH 689

OPHTH 697, 699

 

OPHTH 681 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – HMC/Eye Institute (4/8)
Meets the surgery selective requirement. 

Offered:

2 or 4 weeks

Prerequisite:

By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Total Enrollment:

3 students per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Courtney Francis, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

Harborview Medical Center / UW Eye Institute

 

OPHTH 683 P–Pediatric Ophthalmology Clerkship – Seattle Children’s (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Must have previously completed an ophthalmology clerkship. By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Erin Herlihy, M.D.

Clerkship Sites:

Seattle Children’s Hospital

 

OPHTH 685 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – VAPSHCS (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Deb Lam, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS)

 

OPHTH 686 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – Kaiser Permanente Puget Sound (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Hubert Pham, M.D. 

Clerkship Site:

Kaiser Permanente – Puget Sound: Bellevue/Federal Way/Capitol Hill

 

OPHTH 688 P- Ophthalmology Clerkship – Anchorage (4/8)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 or 4 weeks

Prerequisite:

Fourth-year medical students only.  Application should be made during third year. By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Compliance & Drug Testing: Standard 6 panel drug test through the SOM is required.  Drug test must be within 30 days.  Order a drug test through the SOM at https://www.uwmedicine.org/education/Pages/Drug-Testing-for-Select-Clerkship-Rotations.aspx

Faculty Contact:

Robert Davis, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

Anchorage, Alaska: Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC)

 

OPHTH 689 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – Spokane (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Neal Peterson, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

Spokane, Washington

 

OPHTH 690 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – Missoula (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Todd Murdock, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

Missoula, Montana

OPHTH 691 P-Ophthalmology Clerkship - Nampa (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation

Faculty Contact:

Johanna Jensen, M.D.  

Clerkship Sites:

Nampa, ID: Jensen Eye Associates, PLLC

OPHTH 692 - P-Ophthalmology Clerkship - Bozeman (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:2 weeks
PrerequisiteBy special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.
Total Enrollment:1 student per rotation
Faculty Contact:Joseph Sheehan, M.D.
Clerkship Site:Bozeman, Montana

OPHTH 695 P- Advanced Ophthalmology Clerkship - Seattle (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Must have previously completed an ophthalmology clerkship. By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation

Faculty Contact:

Courtney Francis, M.D.

Clerkship Sites:

Harborview Medical Center, 4 West Clinic

 

 

OPHTH 697 P- Ophthalmology Special Elective (max 24)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2/4/6 weeks

Prerequisite:

By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions. This is a 2 month application process.

Total Enrollment:

Unlimited.

Clerkship site:

Various outside WWAMI

By specific arrangement for qualified students; special clerkships or ‘away clerkships’ may be available at institutions other than the University of Washington.  Interested students should submit a "Credit for Away Clerkship" form available from the UWSOM Dean's Office Registrar and complete for departmental approval at least two months before advance registration.

This elective has provided clinical and laboratory experience in ophthalmology in a variety of settings.  The arrangements must be initiated by the student, but we are able to provide guidance in order to ensure that a valuable experience will be obtained.

Note: Departmental evaluations are required to be completed by faculty and student prior to receiving a grade.

OPHTH 699 P- WWAMI Ophthalmology Special Electives (max 24)

Offered:

2/4/6 weeks

Total Enrollment:

Variable.

Prerequisite:

By special arrangement only - please contact the department coordinator for permissions. This is a 2 month application process.

Clerkship site:

Various within WWAMI

By specific arrangement for qualified students, special clerkships or ‘away clerkships’ maybe available at institutions other than the University of Washington located within the WWAMI region.  Interested students should obtain a “Credit for Away Clerkship in WWAMI” form available from the UWSOM Dean’s Office Registrar and complete for departmental approval at least two months before advance registration.

Note: Departmental evaluations are required to be completed by faculty and student prior to receiving a grade.

 

 

 

FAQ

 

Am I allowed to choose which attending I want to follow while on rotation?

Please let the education coordinator know 1 week prior to the start of the rotation if you have specific scheduling requests, however we cannot guarantee all requests can be fulfilled.

If I am registered for a four-week clerkship rotation, can this be applied towards a full four weeks of surgical selective credit?

No, our department will only allow two weeks of surgical credit in every clerkship rotation, whether it’s a two, four, or six-week block.

Am I allowed to miss a day or two for residency interviews? Can I make up for my missed days?

Per UWSOM policy, no time off will be approved in two-week clerkships.

I am a visiting student who applied for a four-week clerkship rotation, and paid the registration fee for $100. Can I get a refund if I was offered a schedule that won’t work for me?

No, the registration fee is non-refundable but you can always use it at a later date that will work for you.

I have temporary housing in the UW district area and I will have a car during the rotation. Is there parking available near Harborview or would you recommend not driving to the site?

Parking at Harborview is very expensive and parking in the area around Harborview is generally 2-hour limit metered parking; I recommend not driving to the site. There are free shuttle busses running every 15 minutes from UWMC to UW Tower, Roosevelt and HMC, then back to UW Tower, Roosevelt, and UWMC. Health Sciences Shuttle Schedule. For more information, contact ophthclerk@uw.edu. https://hmc.uwmedicine.org/BU/ParkingCommuterServices/Pages/default.aspx

Should I have read through all of Basic Ophthalmology by the first day? I’m not sure whether I should be reading the book chapter by chapter or whether it is assumed we will be familiar with the entirety of the book on day one.

It is good to read the textbook early on to familiarize yourself with ophthalmology medical terminologies and definitions, as well as to broaden your knowledge of ophthalmology. This will allow for a better learning experience during your rotation.

How long will it take to have my final grades posted in the E*Value System?

In accordance  with SoM policy, grades will be posted within four weeks.

Program Info

Program Director
Courtney Francis, MD
Associate Professor

Education Coordinator
Kristen Seiler
ophthclerk@uw.edu

 

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